Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has pinpointed why his side are genuine Premier League title contenders this season as he emphasised the importance of maturity.
The Gunners haven’t won a title since 2004, and were heavily criticised last season for missing out after finishing second in the table behind surprise champions Leicester City.
However, they’ve started this season well and remain joint top alongside rivals Manchester City and Liverpool, with a convincing 4-1 win over Sunderland at the weekend reaffirming their credentials.
Wenger believes there is a difference between this squad and previous ones over the last 12 years, insisting that their maturity will take them a long way between now and the end of the campaign.
“Maturity is what you want to show,” Wenger said, as reported by The Express. “I believe so, yes, but that’s what we want to show over a longer distance, you know, and that’s what is at stake.
“We now have some difficult games coming up, we have a difficult November, so by the end of the November we’ll know more about ourselves, but the desire and the mentality is great in the side.
“We have a great togetherness and we have quality as well, so they are good ingredients, but we have to show that we can do it week in, week out.”
Another key aspect of their good form has been their strength in depth, with Wenger being able to bring in more than capable replacements for injured first-team stars including the likes of Santi Cazorla, Nacho Monreal and Theo Walcott at the weekend.
Olivier Giroud returned with two goals in five minutes at the Stadium of Light, and difficult wins such as the one at the weekend will only continue to strengthen belief within the group and give them experience of overcoming tough situations.
Nevertheless, as pointed out by Wenger, they have a tough run of fixtures coming up and they’ll need to prove that they have indeed learnt from their past mistakes and can sustain a title push.